ANDREW JAKUBOWICZ. Election 2019: finally, the beginning of the end of White Australia?

Somewhere along the road to May 18, the Australian media discovered multicultural Australia, and began to sense its import and influence.  Journalists who could speak Putonghua or track threads through WeChat, or tap away on one of the many desi social media, suddenly found they were in demand. Names never before seen on by-lines suddenly were paired with the old guard Euro-Australian reporters.   Continue reading

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MICHAEL MAZENGARB. Global fossil fuel subsidies reach $5.2 trillion, and $29 billion in Australia (Renew Economy)

New analysis commissioned by the International Monetary Fund has shown that global fossil fuel subsidies continue to grow, despite the growing urgency of the need to decarbonise the global economy. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 1 Comment

CHRIS BONNOR The education election: it’s the same old song

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that school education was taking a back seat in the election campaign. With just a few days to go not much has changed: the various protagonists are making more noise, while managing to avoid the mounting wicked problems that beset school education. The coalition has stuck to business as usual without really understanding what the business is delivering; Labor knows more, but its otherwise courageous policy development has not touched education.

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MICHAEL KEATING. This election offers a very real choice. Part 2

In a previous article (posted yesterday) I compared the Coalition and Labor fiscal plans. The credibility of these plans, as well as their value, depends significantly on whether the underlying economic parameters upon which the plans are based are sound, and equally how those plans will impact on economic activity and growth. These issues are discussed further below in the second part of this series comparing the two Parties fiscal plans.   Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Sanctions – a follow-up

Several people have written seeking clarification and explanation of some of my arguments in my previous article on sanctions, published here on Friday 10 May. The academic literature on the success and effectiveness of sanctions is in something of a mess, for a number of reasons.

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DAVID SOLOMON. Vote earlier.

Am I missing something? Voting early is becoming increasingly popular, yet the politicians are thinking of cutting it back, and/or making it more difficult. I thought politicians were in the business of picking up, or at least reflecting, the public mood. But somehow, they believe they should resist this particular trend – this very strong trend that has gained the approval of more than a third of voters from across the political spectrum.   Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER Iran: Another US War by Choice

The character and political needs of President Trump and the obsessions of John Bolton are coalescing towards US action directed at regime change in Iran. The reasons given for the current increase in US military deployments in the Persian Gulf demand careful, independent analysis, before Australia responds to any US request that it join it in its actions. It is not simply an Alliance issue.
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Posted in International Affairs | 11 Comments

MARK CROSYBY. Trick question: who’s the better economic manager? (The Conversation)

In 1995 I co-authored a paper with Diane Brown and Louise Malady which examined economic outcomes under Labor and Liberal governments in Australia to that time. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

ROSS GITTINS. Universities: both sides should clean up the mess they’ve made

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BELINDA KINKEAD. Australia’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Australia is experiencing a remarkable renewable energy transition – not that you would know if you listen to some federal politicians. The Coalition consistently tells us that Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are “coming down” and that we’re on track to meet our Paris climate targets “at a canter”. In reality, neither of those statements is true. Continue reading

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THOMAS FRIEDMAN. Has Our Luck Run Out? (New York Times)

Most crucial problems today are global in nature and can be dealt with only by a global coalition. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

CAMERON LECKIE. The global war of terror and the demise of the empire

As a young Army officer, watching Prime Minister John Howard’s announcement of the deployment of Australian military forces to Afghanistan in late 2001, I remember the extreme disappointment from both my soldiers and I that we would not be going to fight what would become known as the Global War on Terror.  Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 4 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. This election offers a very real choice. Part I

The two major issues in this election are climate change and the economy and cost of living pressures. In both cases the two major parties are offering very different strategies.

In these two articles I will focus on the economic choice being offered to voters. In this article, I will compare the two Parties’ fiscal plans, and in a second part to be posted tomorrow I will comment on the likely economic impacts of these respective plans.   Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Finally, the beginning of the end.

Scott Morrison’s launch was, ironically, the last of the big set pieces. The remaining mad (and largely irrelevant) days will be scrabbling over a few marginal seats in which the vast majority of those who have not already voted will have already made up their minds.   Continue reading

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GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. Vale Evan Williams

No Australian adorned the professions of politics and journalism like Evan Williams.  He was much more than a beautiful writer.  He was a beautiful man, who brought a shining light and grace to thousands of lives. He died a few days ago. Continue reading

Posted in Arts and Reviews, Media | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. The communist threat curbed capitalist greed, but no longer

Five years ago in this blog I warned about  growing inequality.With the communist threat gone we have seen again  greed  coming back into full play around the world. We have seen it here in the greed and anti social  behaviour of our banks and massive tax avoidance by large multinational companies in co-operation with our major audit and accounting firms.Paying tax has become optional for many powerful people and companies.Our largely American owned print media is promoting this dangerous lurch to the right. Conservative political parties have turned a blind eye to this more aggressive attack on fellow citizens and the consequent inequality.

And the greed for economic growth at any cost is endangering our planet.

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Posted in Infrastructure | 3 Comments

MICHAEL PASCOE. Hey PM, you’re either lying or ignorant about the RBA’s forecasts. (New Daily, 12.5.2019)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is either desperately lying or ignorant about the Reserve Bank seriously downgrading Australia’s economic outlook – a downgrade that could easily wipe out the government’s “back in black” surplus claim.   Continue reading

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LAURIE PATTON. It’s the vision, stupid! Why we need #BetterBroadband

While neither side of politics is saying much about our increasingly-maligned National Broadband Network during the election period, the fact is Australia is falling behind in the race to leverage the benefits – economic and social – of an emerging digitally-enabled future. Irrespective of the outcome of the election we need #BetterBroadband and we need a less politicised future for NBN Co.   Continue reading

Posted in Media, NBN | 2 Comments

PETER SAINSBURY. How do the parties’ environmental policies compare?

If climate change is going to influence your vote this Saturday you may want to know how the three main political parties’ environment policies shape up. Here are three scorecards to help you decide who to favour with your vote.

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JAMES O’NEILL. There are “Nutters” and then there are “Nutters”

In interview given to Australia’s ABC network former Prime Minister Paul Keating referred to the Australian intelligence agencies as “nutters”. The comment was in the context of the advice that those intelligence agencies were giving the government on relations with China, Australia’s most important economic partner by a considerable margin. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

IAN WEBSTER. US opioid epidemic: a warning to Australia?

Two ABC documentaries – ‘Opioid America’, Foreign Correspondent, 19th March and on TV Tonight, Louis Theroux, April 2nd portrayed the cycle of addiction in damaged US communities with no hope or future. Both were in West Virginia where opioid deaths are 2 to 3 times higher than other US states. The people and their environments are forever written off. Alarm bells ring.

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BRIAN COYNE. The great fallacy of our neoliberal affluent times

Brian Coyne offers this addendum to what he wrote in response to Richard Cooke’s searing analysis of Rupert Murdoch and his publishing empire. It might be a difficult-to-appreciate observation for many in our world today: Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. An ancient or modern Liberal.

This poster appeared in the Wentworth electorate  yesterday.  Very pertinent!  John Menadue

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Those who work for Murdoch know exactly what is expected of them.

It was in 1975 that the Murdoch bias finally pushed the dictatorial mogul’s journalists jacked up, and went on strike.   Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 5 Comments

ROD TIFFEN. These News Corp newspapers are first and foremost propaganda sheets.

It takes rare genius to provoke Scott Morrison and Andrew Bolt to express sympathy for Bill Shorten, but the Daily Telegraph managed it.   Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 8 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. A Repost: The facts on boat arrivals that the media won’t face.

From September 2015, almost four years ago, Peter Hughes and I have pointed out repeatedly that Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison triggered the surge in boat arrivals from September 2011 and did not stop the boats as they claim from December 2013 when Operation Sovereign Borders commenced. Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

BOB CARR. The China panic and John Fitzgerald.

In a contribution to Pearls and Irritations published on April 16 I took up a point made by Gareth Evans who argued in March that “in Australia a new form of Sinophobia is emerging.” He said this was one of the reasons Chinese-Australians are underrepresented in senior leadership.   Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

MICHAEL McKINLEY. Returning to the time of “Able Archer” and Australia’s need to remember 1983

Nearly thirty-six years ago NATO carried out its annual Able Archer command post exercise designed to simulate an escalation in conflict with the USSR and the Warsaw Pact nations which culminated in a coordinated nuclear attack against the Soviet homeland. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 3 Comments

ROGER SCOTT. Queenslanders being different again?

David Solomon and others have correctly identified the coming election as a simple moral choice about the role of government. Queensland voters face the same challenge, but the perspective varies as widely as the character of the state. My wife and I are working in the trenches in the leafy electorate of Ryan. This ought to be a lost cause but isn’t..   Continue reading

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PHILIP GIRALDI. Pompeo Lies, Cheats and Steals (But He’s Still a Good Christian) (American Herald Tribune 4.5.2019)

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Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments